The Canoe Diaries

  • August 3, 2017

    The 5th Whitby Venturers and their leaders returned to Whitby by train on Friday, July 28, 1967. They were received at the train station in Oshawa by Mayor Desmond Newman and other councillors. The newspapers were there to capture the reunion of the young men with their families and to interview some of the Scouts about the journey. 

    The Scouts return home and are reunited with family at the train station.

    Gerry Hicks, tireless author of The Canoe Diaries, went back to work at the Dominion grocery store the very next day. He told the local newspaper that he "feels all rested up and I'm looking forward to start working." The young men were impressed with Ottawa, Expo 67, and the generosity of the people they met along the way. Many of them also commented on their reception at Longueuil and Montreal City Halls. Finally, they commented on the sense of fellowship that developed between the group. Gerry Hicks wrote about this and the growth of the Venturers in terms of maturity and self-discipline in several entries. 

    The Scouts pictured with a flag from Longueuil.

    The Venturers were honoured for their efforts on August 5, 1967 during the County Town Carnival Parade. Their float was stopped in front of the municipal building at 405 Dundas Street West where they received special commemorative plaques from Mayor Newman. 

    The Scouts and their float in the County Town Carnival Parade.

    What an amazing adventure. The Whitby Venturers were not alone in their endeavour to paddle to Expo 67. Groups from across the country challenged themselves to celebrate Canada’s 100th birthday by paddling hundreds and thousands of kilometers to Montreal to see the spectacle.

    Expo 67 is considered by many to be the most successful Exposition of the 20th century. From April 28 to October 27, there were over 50 million paid admissions to Expo 67. The theme, Man and his World, spurred countries and exhibitors from around the world to build modern pavilions promoting culture, innovation, and architecture. It was an inspiring example of what we, as humans, could aspire to.

    We can see from the photos just how futuristic Expo really was. Travelling there by canoe along the waterways and transportation routes of Canada’s Indigenous Peoples and early settlers was a symbolic link between the past and what was to come.

    We hope you’ve enjoyed following the canoe. 

     

    Images: Taken at the Oshawa train station just after they returned home; the Venturers posing with the flag of Longueuil, Quebec; the Venturers posing alongside their float in the County Town Carnival Parade.

  • Wednesday, August 2, 2017

    We've reached the end of The Canoe Diaries and what a journey it's been. The Scouts experienced highs and lows, met a cast of characters along the way, and really came together as a cohesive group of paddlers. 

    Today we'll share with you some bonus material from the scrapbooks: a poem written by Gerry Hicks's mother, Marie and a number of photos from around Expo 67 and Montreal. Tomorrow we'll recap the journey and have a look at the Scouts' arrival back in Whitby.

    Expo by Marie Hicks

    They’re the 5th Whitby Venturers, nineteen young men
     Including advisors John & Ben.
    They’re Centennial project was really well planned
    When advisor Ben took things in hand.
    The Venturers’ enthusiasm grew & grew.
    When Ben said Expo by canoe.
    Port Perry was the rock where their launched their canoes,
    The troop dressed in buckskin, even their shoes.
    A farewell committee was on hand at the dock,
    To extend best wishes to Ben and his flock.
    The mayor, their chaplain, the queen of the year
    All wished them good luck as departure drew near.
    Twas a hot July day as they paddled away,
    To Lindsay the stopover for the first day.
    The mayor of the town, and newspaper men,
    Officially welcomed the Venturers in.
    No royalty could be treated better
    As an introduction was given by their mayor’s letter.
    When the gaiety ended, some work was in sight
    As Venturers set up camp for the night.
    Sleep came early for the tired group,
    As they knew that paddling would start at sunrise.
    Many stopovers were planned too numerous to mention
    The first rain stop however was a place called Trenton.
    The president there of the C.O.C
    Welcomed the Venturers merrily.
    The local theatre there hosted the pack,
    As a rain soaked day held the Venturers back.
    They resumed their padding after a long day’s rest,
    All Venturers feeling their very best.
    The paddling got tougher, but the portages rougher.
    After some 50 hikes with canoes on their back,
    Not one of the guys dropped out of the pack.
    All stopovers they had, treatment couldn’t be better
    As advisor Ben gave them their mayor’s letter.
    The nation’s capital held much in store
    As many of the boys hadn’t been there before.
    The gang wandered round very much at will
    Their main attraction was Parliament Hill.
    A march through the city, many of the boys with a beard
    Attracted the beatniks, who thought them quite weird.
    Early next morning, they left in a dither
    For their longest paddle down the Ottawa River.
    Two friendly cottages along the way,
    Invited them in for a cookout that day.
    Their hosts were gracious and ever so kind
    Man, you just gotta keep these folks in mind.
    At departure they thanked their hosts, one by one
    Once more the grueling paddling begun.
    They met and camped with another crew
    Also expedition Expo by canoe.
    A hundred and ten men were making this trek,
    Ardent miners and lumberjacks from Quebec.
    The end of that day, the boys were all smiles
    As Benny recorded forty-seven miles.
    With most miles behind them, not many to go
    The troop was now thinking of thrills at Expo.
    The last few miles seemed a very long run
    But the gang was happy and full of fun.
    At the final docking one mile from Expo
    They were greeted by Montreal Mayor Drapeau.
    The Venturers have three days at their leisure
    Indeed, this must seem to them quite a pleasure.
    A quick tour of Expo, then home by train
    Now the pack doesn’t mind, if it happens to rain.
    Back home Whitby’s waiting to welcome them back
    This wonderful, venturesome 5th Whitby pack.

     

    Photo of Dan Woods.Group photo on arrival at Expo.Photo of Place des nations.

    Photo of Expo 67 on Ile Ste. Helene.Photo of John Gauthier.

    Photo of Hank Weist.Photo of Dan Gravelle.Ben Lahaye's wife in front of the American pavilion.

    Photo of the monorail and Habitat 67.Interior of the Ontario pavilion.

    Images (left to right, top to bottom): Dan Woods; group photo upon arrival at Expo 67; Place des nations; Ile Ste. Helene; John Gauthier; Hank Weist; Dan Gravelle; Benny Lahaye's wife in front of the American pavilion; the monorail and the Habitat 67 apartments; interior of the Ontario pavilion. 

  • Tuesday, July 25, 1967

    Missed an entry? Wondering what this is all about? Start at the beginning and follow along as the 5th Whitby Venturer Scouts canoe to Montreal.

    The following passages were reproduced from the scrapbooks of Gerry Hicks. They have been transcribed without correction. 

    Be sure to check back tomorrow for a poem about this historic journey and many more photos!

    Everyone is up bright and early. All are greatly excited about to-day’s coming events and those of the next couple of days.

    Breakfast is over practically just as soon as it gets started, it seems. This is the day we have all waited for and it is hard to believe that it has really come true.

    Everyone is talking at once and trying to tell everyone else what they plan to see when they get to Expo ’67. We can tell that they are going to be one hell of a bunch of busy bunch, running helter skelter all over the damn place having a great time.

    Father Austin made additional arrangements with his friends to transport us all to Longueuil by 10:00 A.M. The Mayor of Longueuil will be on hand to see us off.

    At 9:15 A.M. we are picked up at the church in four cars and driven to the marina at Longueuil, and after instructing the boys on what to do and in what formation to paddle, we then put our canoes in the water and waited for the mayor to arrive. Newspapermen, police and people from the marina arrive also to see and witness our departure. Everyone is here but the mayor. After some quick phone calls we discover that the mayor cannot possibly make the scene. So after pictures are taken and the paper gets a quick scoop, we shove off.

    Father Austin had a police escort to a ferry and was taken aboard without waiting in the long line. As we rounded the bend, we noticed the ferry pulling out and there could also be seen was Father Austin standing at the rail waving to us, and snapping a few pictures. We were proud of Father.

    The paddling is incessantly hard as the water is flowing fast and the wind is strong too. The water is against us. About ½ way across the St. Lawrence, we are met by an R.C.M.P. boat which escorts us the rest of the way. As we near the entrance of La Ronde Expo, 2 officials and boats of Expo come out to meet us also and also escort us in.

    We are now nearing the entrance to Expo ’67 and we can see people lining up on the banks to see us in.

    Everything is very beautiful and one begins to wonder how this exposition was actually made possible. As we enter the gut, we are greeted by a 7-gun salute, whistles sounding from other craft and the shouting from the crowds.

    Group photo of Scouts after arrival at Expo 67.

    We never realized that so many people were interested in such a small few of us. The first person I noticed on the dock as Mrs. LaHaye, then Mr. and Mrs. LaValley, Mrs. Gravelle, Mrs. Woodcock and Mrs. Van Gils. It was sure nice to see a few people from good old Whitby. Now there was no holding back, the perfect formation we held coming across was now broke and everyone wanted to get this long trip over. We landed and everyone thanked God for our safe departure, safe journey and safe landing.

    Besides relatives, friends and Father Austin, we were met by the official Expo Greeting Committee and also members of the Boy Scouts Association formed of Scouts and their Leaders.

    People we didn’t know till later like Mr. and Mrs. Harvey, Jack Lasiner, owner of a candle factory, his salesman Hercules Hasselin, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Thailin who is director of traffic for Pepsi Cola Company. Mr. Harvey is the owner of the large restaurant in Expo 67, called “Les Places De Nations.” He was very good to us. Refreshments were served to everyone. He also helped Father Austin in organizing our stay in Expo.

    Photo of Places des nations at expo 67.

    The rock that this exposition is built upon is all rock fill which forms the foundation. It looks like rock that has been blasted out of mine. The whole fair is all man made.

    Father has been a tower of strength in planning our activities in Montreal. Our arrangements have been all made in such short notice that I think it is impossible for anyone else to have done likewise.

    He seems to be on the go all of the time. We tell him to slow down but he is too busy to acknowledge us. We all just hope that it doesn’t affect his health. Everything is all set up for us and all we have to do is to make time to fulfill all of our commitments.

    We have an appointment at city hall in Montreal for 3 o’clock this afternoon but have to be at the city hall in Longueuil first so being 12:00 NOON we have to do some quick planning.

    We decide to go upstairs to Expo proper and find a sandwich or two and meet back at the marina by 1:30 so we can paddle back to Longueuil to the office of the mayor.

    After our lunch, John Brady informs us that Jerry Ouellette and his family have come to Expo on their way to the East Coast and have made a special stop to see and greet us. Ben and some of the leaders hurried down to see them and it was really nice to talk to Jerry and his family. We were grateful to them for stopping. At 1:30, the boys were all ready to pile into our canoes for our last ride in canoes on this trip.

    We let the boys head out first as Ben and some of the other leaders watched them head across the St. Lawrence. I knew that they felt as I. We had started out and accomplished our goal. They all are professional canoeists now which is noticed by the way they dip their paddles in the water without a ripple and without touching the sides of the canoes. The way they ride the current and the way they use the wind is all done now without any real effort and without really trying. It is all just routine now.

    Once we reach the marina at Longueuil, we pile our canoes near the club and make the final arrangements to have our canoes delivered home by Smith Transport Ltd. They said that we would have to be there at 3:30 P.M. to give them a hand loading. We agreed, not remembering that we had to be in City Hall, Montreal at 3:00 P.M. Well from here it was just a whirlwind tour, which we shall never forget.

    The cars picked us up and took us to the Mayor’s office in Longueuil where we were well received by his worship Mayor [Marcel] Robidas, Father Austin, Ben’s wife, and some of the mothers and fathers of the boys. It was a very interesting stay. The mayor gave us a short brief impressive history of the city. The mayor by the way is the father of 14 children. Father Austin was then presented with a gift to our mayor in Whitby, and Ben was presented with a flag of the city. Refreshments were then served to all of us.

    Ben LaHaye pictured with Father Leo Austin and political representatives of Longueuil.

    We then headed out for city hall in Montreal. Ben’s wife and Mrs. Woodcock, who is the mother of Venturer Gordon Woodcock, were chauffeured by Mayor [Marcel] Robidas in his limousine. He explained the closeness between Montreal and Longueuil and the friendship with Mayor [Jean] Drapeau, whom I understand is the greatest man in Quebec.

    On arrival at the Hotel de Ville Montreal, which is French for City Hall, we were greeted by the red carpet and then ushered to Mayor [Jean] Drapeau’s office by 4 burly policemen. There we were met by acting mayor Euclide Laliberte. He is the acting mayor when Drapeau is very busy with other officials. We were informed that Mayor [Jean] Drapeau would rather have been with us than with General [Charles] DeGaulle [President of France] who was present.

    Refreshments again rolled out on a large table. Here was a large selection of liquid varying from Pepsi-Cola to Champagne. Father Austin made a very pleasing and diplomatic speech after introducing us all to the acting mayor and his assistants. Then, following Father Austin’s speech, Mr. Laliberte made a brief speech. He spoke on Separatism and said that only 4 % of the people in Quebec were separatists and also stated that those 4 %’ers were a bunch of outlaws. He also told us that we were doing the right thing by spreading goodwill from the kids in Ontario to the kids in Quebec and we thoroughly believed him. This man was a small but very wise man and he knew exactly what he was saying. He made our stay very pleasant and after signing the big books, we all went to the patio where pictures were taken. The scenery here was beautiful. What a view of the city from here. We told the boys that this was a chance of a lifetime to be here because the only other way to get where we were, would be if they were in some office of the government level. Not everybody we were told is allowed into the mayor’s private room. We then toured City Hall amidst T.V. cameras and crew who were on hand for General DeGaulle.

    Group photo of Scouts at Montreal City Hall.

    After this, we left for our campsite at St. Lambert.

    This is one day that will be forever in our memories and we know that it will be brought up many times in the future or the days to come.

     

    Images: Group picture taken upon our arrival at Expo 67; Place des nations; Mr. Lasiner Sr., Father Austin, Hercules Hasselin, Mr. Lasiner Jr., Mayor of Longueuil: Marcel Robidas, Acting Mayor of Montreal: Euclide Laliberte, and Ben LaHaye who is signing the guest book in City Hall, Montreal; group photo taken on the patio of City Hall in Montreal. 

    Crossed paddles with banner that reads follow the canoe.

  • Monday, July 24, 1967

    Missed an entry? Wondering what this is all about? Start at the beginning and follow along as the 5th Whitby Venturer Scouts canoe to Montreal.

    The following passages were reproduced from the scrapbooks of Gerry Hicks. They have been transcribed without correction. 

    Up at 6:30 A.M. The 2 boys from town stuck around all night. The one is a big slob, dressing about 200 lbs. He was the first one to go off the dock. The other lad also went for a swim to his own discontentment.

    After breakfast, the boys disappeared and then Father Austin arrived and said mass for us. Here we also received Holy Communion. And prior to mass we went to Confession.

    Scouts waiting to pack up canoes.

    It was really nice to see Father again and I think he was equally pleased to see us. With him was a businessman known as Hercules. He was a nice chap and a very generous man. Father had been checking into the situation and our route and he found out for us, that we could not go on any further on our proposed planned route.

    He acquired a Pepsi Cola truck for us to transport our canoes and ourselves to St. Lambert on the St. Lawrence River. We were all very grateful to Father Austin and by 9:30 A.M. the truck was there for us. 20 minutes later we were at our new camp-site in St. Lambert. Father also made arrangements for us to stay at a church there. The truck dropped our canoes off at the Marina for us in Longueuil which meant we only would have a half hour paddling to reach Expo at our proposed time of 11:30 A.M. Tuesday, July 25.

    The Scouts posing with the Pepsi truck.

    The rest of the day was spent preparing for to-morrow and having all of our clothes cleaned and nice and tidy. The rest of our gear we aired out on the gym floor. The temperature was cool and quite comfortable inside but outside the temperature was soaring.

    Station wagon and trailer packed with gear.

    Here we have all the facilities that we could ever want. Our dinner was cooked on a nice stove and served in no time at all. It seems funny to have all these conveniences in camp since all other camps, we slept and cooked wherever a suitable spot could be found with ample shelter. Our only thought today is that God will guide us safely over our last 3 miles as he has done so far. These last 3 miles will be the hardest to paddle it will seem. It will seem hard to realize that our trip is over when these 3 miles are completed. We know that the wind is 40 knots and against us also the water is very fast flowing.

    I know that we have to watch for the Hovercraft which skims the water at 70 m.p.h. and also the big lake steamers. These water craft throw up a terrific wake.

    Benny says he is not worried at all as he has a great deal of confidence in his leaders, so we group all together and discuss plans for to-morrow.

    Finally, we all hit the sack.

    Images: the Scouts lounging while waiting for their canoes to be transported to Longueuil; the Scouts pictured with the Pepsi truck which took them to Longueuil; the station wagon and trailer packed up with gear. 

    Crossed paddles with banner that reads follow the canoe.

     

  • Sunday, July 23, 1967

    Missed an entry? Wondering what this is all about? Start at the beginning and follow along as the 5th Whitby Venturer Scouts canoe to Montreal.

    The following passages were reproduced from the scrapbooks of Gerry Hicks. They have been transcribed without correction. 

    We slept in a little later than usual and woke to the beautiful sound of birds chirping and a warm glorious day.

    The Northmen are up and singing songs in French. Some of us could understand them a little as we took French in school.

    The cooks were up earlier than the rest of us in the Northerners camp. You can smell the bacon and eggs, so it’s not too long before we are preparing our breakfast.

    Newspaper headline that reads 14 miles left for venturers.

    The leader of the Rouyn Expeditions said that it was 10 miles to Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue across the lake and that the wind is too strong and the water too rough to cross. To us it doesn’t look too bad, and as we are not as many as them, we decide to pull out.

    After looking over our map, we notice that Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue is directly across from this point and the wind is blowing real hard from the west.

    We therefore have to lead directly into the wind in order to make a large semi-circle and land straight across.

    The Northerners are quite disappointed as we launch our canoes because they have to stay while we depart.

    There are a lot of bull rushes about 100 yds. ahead. The wind is whistling and the paddling is harder as we are going directly into the wind. Everyone is paddling in close formation now. After about 2-2 ½ miles we start arching towards the south side and we now have the wind on our sides. This water is the roughest we have had, since paddling in Lake Ontario but everyone now is well experienced. For the first time Benny and us other leaders feel quite at ease. We enjoy the wind and white caps along with the rest of the boys.

    The other side of the lake is now very clearly visible and we can see the gut where we have to enter.

    The large bridge is just beyond this so we paddle to the gut where temporary relief from the wind is found.

    While we are here counting heads and regrouping the canoes, we pause for a short smoke.

    There is another small lake between us and the bridge and Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue is just a couple of miles beyond that.

    This little lake is very rough also, but in no time flat we are across it. It just seemed like a large pond. The water gets very narrow now and consequently flows faster.

    As we leave the bridge a number of power boats are approaching us and they tell us later that the whole town is waiting for us. They think we are part of the Rouyn Expedition. We explain that we are not, but they say that doesn’t matter. As far as they are concerned, we are part of them. At the locks, many people ask us questions of all kinds. They are also taking pictures. They asked us if we were going to shoot the rapids of these locks.

    Scouts standing with a totem pole.

    Benny met an Indian who volunteers to lead or escort us down the rapids as he said they were very very tricky. There was a huge cement pillar which is barely covered by the water. So, we approach this situation very cautiously. We followed the Indian in his canoe. We found these rapids quite fast and rough but if you know the way you are going there is no problem.

    Before civilization, these rapids were very rough and arduous but after civilization developed, these rapids are somewhat controlled.

    There was a little trouble maneuvering the first bend and some of the boys could not turn sharp enough and therefore touched bottom.

    The rest was easier and real fast. There was one drop about 3 ft. and Ben’s canoe dug its bow into the water and filled up.

    Everyone made it except Bill LaValley and Don Woods as they had put a hole in the bow of their canoe while they were docking. At the locks, we left them and will return later to get them.

    As we were shooting the rapids, people were lined along the banks snapping pictures. Big cheers were given us as we continued along on our journey. The water is very fast flowing now as we are getting closer to the Lachine Canal.

    We are covering about 6 miles an hour in Lake St. Louis and in no time we see our station wagon and trailer parked beside a huge convent and church. We pull in and dock amongst great rocks and met by many young priests. The name of this town is Pointe Claire. The spot where we have landed is just beautiful. It is one of the nicest of all our camp spots on the trip thus far.

    While a delicious lunch of sandwiches is served to all, we are paid a visit by an older priest accompanied by 3 younger priests. He is the head priest here and after discussing our trip and other plans with him, he invites us to camp overnight on their grounds. After a brief discussion, we accept.

    Two priests and an unidentified man in a Whitby canoe.

    The layout of this place is terrific. There is a large grey stone building for the nuns. It is located on a point jutting out into the water. The residence of the priests is also a large and beautiful stone building. Also there is a large church and school here.

    Our tents are pitched alongside the railings beside the waterside on a beautiful green lawn.

    Soon the young people from town began congregating. They are very friendly.

    Dorval Airport is right alongside us almost and every 5 minutes a large jet zooms overhead.

    Benny headed into town to phone Father Austin who is in Montreal now. He is very pleased to hear from us. Actually we are only about 3 miles from the outskirts of Montreal and at the mouth of the Lachine Canal.

    Father Austin told Ben that he would be over at 7:00 A.M. to say mass for us. Ben delivered this message to the boys. When Benny returned from town, the camp was set up perfect. The canoes were all shored and piled in order and all gear was neatly stowed away.

     

    The boys seem to be gaining more popularity every day. All of them have lots of addresses to write to after the trip is finished. During all the fun and all the events which have happened so far we still wish in a way we were back home. Everyone misses their parents, relatives and friends but by being away like this which for most of the boys it is their first time away it is as good experience for them. Their outlook towards their home town life is different. They are all maturing very fast it seems. Nobody brags to anyone about the trip other than their own funny experiences such as falling into the water while trying to get into their canoes or when I got swamped in the Cataraqui Lake or some of the other stupid, funny episodes. All in all we have a great gang of boys.​

    Whitby Scout group at Pointe Claire, Quebec.

    The boys are happy now as we tell them there is no curfew tonight.

    Benny and us leaders proceeded to the Venture Base at Dorval, Quebec while the boys strike for downtown to the restaurants probably. At Dorval, Benny and the rest of the leaders received information regarding the finish of our trip. We were informed by officials here that the Lachine Canal was under construction and dry and that no one could use it.

    They also told us that we could not use the St. Lawrence Seaway as our craft were smaller than the required length which is 26 ft. unless special permission from the government which would take over a week to secure. As we didn’t have enough time left, we had to forget this idea. The only alternative was to paddle back to Sainte-Annes’ and take another route from this point via Pointe Calumet and Lake of Two Mountains.

    This would throw us a way off schedule by two or three days. So we required transportation to Longueil, Quebec. This was a distance of 3 miles from Expo by road. We decided to wait for Father Austin and discuss the situation further with him.

    While at the Venture Base, we met the boys in the war canoe who came from Manotick, Ontario. They appeared tired and felt sick. This was the end of their trip and also the end of the line for their “war canoe.”

    Heading back to camp we could see the boys walking through the town in the company of a bunch of girls. They were all enjoying themselves. All wore their buckskins and this actually set them off.  During the night, we were bothered by a couple of lads from town. They made it difficult for us to go to sleep. We took offence to this. These 2 lads didn’t know but on the following morning they would be taking an unwanted swim.

     

    Images: Posing with a totem pole at Pointe Claire, Quebec; two priests and an unidentified man in one of the Whitby group's canoes; the Whitby Venturers at Pointe Claire, Quebec.

    Crossed paddles with banner that reads follow the canoe.

  • Saturday, July 22, 1967

    Missed an entry? Wondering what this is all about? Start at the beginning and follow along as the 5th Whitby Venturer Scouts canoe to Montreal.

    The following passages were reproduced from the scrapbooks of Gerry Hicks. They have been transcribed without correction. 

    Well here we are, up and at them at 4:30 in the morning. The northerners’ camp is pretty well torn down by now. While they are ready to depart, we are still getting our breakfast rustled together. We tried to hurry as the boys wanted to leave with them. But we are not leaving till later, as breakfast won’t be ready and finished in time.

    They advise us, they are heading for Oka Park [Parc national d’Oka] in the Lake of Two Mts. [Lac des Deux Montagnes], so we told them we would meet them there and camp again with them.

    Since the current is fast flowing, we know we will have no problem catching up to them. We are finally ready to leave Hawkesbury at 6:20 and head out at a terrific pace. We were bid adieu by the group leaders and ground crew from Rouyn. The weather is always the same although we are glad it isn’t always raining. It is again hot.

    To-day is our third Saturday paddling and away from home. We have been paddling from 15 days. Shortly after leaving Hawkesbury, we approach the large dam and powerhouse at Carillon, Que., and the Frenchmen are still here waiting for the locks to open. Also here are the Sea Scouts and their 2 cutters and the big war canoe from Manotick.

    Canoes pulling into the locks at Carillon, Quebec.

    After examination of the grounds, we find it impossible to portage here as there is a drop of about 85 feet. It is also fenced in for ¼ mile so to portage would mean it would mean a walk for appox. 1 mile and clamber down the side of a sharp hill to the water level.

    The Rouyn Expedition are now getting the sign from the lockmaster to enter the locks and they tell us to mix our canoes in with theirs as on our bows we have no registration.

    But since the lockmaster checks all the canoes one at a time, and amidst the boos from the Northerners we are turned back. So we start our long portage. As we are really angry with the lockmaster, we must remember that he has a job to do also.

    In no time at all we have our canoes up on shore, and start running along the fence to the other side. We slide our canoes down a grassy hill, and across a stoned sided creek and again to the other side of the creek.

    Meanwhile, the Northerners are still waiting to be locked as our canoes are being launched again in the water.

    The water here in this area is a hell of a lot faster than the so-called fast waters of the Trent Canal and our canoes drifted real fast, for I would say a ½ mile. We pulled up to a small dock with a snack bar and then take our craft out of the water as the water is hitting the sides of the dock, hard and steady.  We paused for a short 10-15 minute break and by the time we were ready to leave again our friends were just coming up to us and they are waving and yelling and tell us as they go by that they will see us in camp tonight.

    Along the mighty Ottawa River.

    Oka Park is 15 miles from here and we are 3 days from Expo ’67.

    So we head out for the Lake of 2 Mountains. About 2 miles from the dock we meet a couple of girls in an outboard motor boat. They approached us and started asking questions. They looked real friendly. I guess one of the boys said a wise crack to one of the girls who got mad and deliberately open up their engines, heading straight for us, crossing in and around our canoes trying their best to swamp us.

    Gerald Lynch fixed these girls by calling them to his canoes and drenching them with water. Also he put quite a bit of water in their boat and before they could get their motor going again. When they did leave, we were not plagued by them anymore.

    We rounded a corner and finally hit the Lake of Two Mountains.

    We paused shortly waiting for a few stragglers and really enjoyed it as there was a slight breeze, which made everyone feel more comfortable. The water was very clear so some took a quick dip.

    We mapped out our route we would take to cross this lake as we were told it gets rough at times, with the winds swooping down from the mountains. We headed for an island located in a straight course right in the middle of the lake. Everyone paddled real hard and strong making every stroke count now as the sky was getting darker and the thunder could be heard rolling in the distance. As we neared the island, there was a large cabin cruiser anchored there with people swimming around it. We were told that we had just 10 miles to go to Oka Park, so we kept on going.

    We now have Quebec on both sides of us. Sailboats could be observed in the far distance.

    As we drew nearer to them, the thunder grew louder and closed. The sky grew an ugly purple and the wind is coming up strong.

    We are now following shore-line as this is safer in the event of a storm. Along this area now, there are quite a few cottages and people can be seen swimming in their pools.

    We come to a point in the water and here are some priests at some sort of seminary. They tell us we have only 2 ½ miles to go. They also say Oka is straight across a large body of water and one of the younger priests advises us to follow the shoreline again to Oka as it gets really rough.

    But this would make the remaining distance about 3 times longer as the shore-line cuts in a long way to the left. We regroup and chance the trip straight across. We figure by now that we are used to rough water. The wind is really whistling and the white caps are hopping around like water flowing down rapids.

    This is a real freak of a storm with the sun hitting our bows and the sky is as dark as night on our stern.

    Oka Park is now clearly visible and it appears to have a lot of sand. We pull into the west side of the park but all there is are a few camp sites with no one around. We continue along the shore line and around the corner we see many people.

    The water is just teeming with people and we paddle in around them. The water is only 12 inches deep. We can now see the canoes from the North so pulled up to the same spot.

    The sun is shining bright and the clouds have disappeared. We are directed by a policeman who tells us to leave our gear and canoes alongside the Northerners and that they shall guard them all night.

    John Brady is nowhere to be seen so we all head to the snack bar in the park where we enjoy hot coffee and chips. Finally John arrives and informs us that we are camping on the same large site as the Northerners. About one hour later, we all got together to set up camp and prepare dinner.

    It is a very beautiful park with many beautiful trees. All facilities one could think of are located here. They even feature a laundry room. There is a town 3 miles up the road from the Park. Some of the boys headed there after supper, but most of us stayed in the camp and retired to bed early.

    To-morrow we are heading to the mouth of the Lachine Canal to Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue. 

    Images: Canoes at the locks at the Carillon Generating Station; Along the mighty Ottawa River.

    Crossed paddles with banner that reads follow the canoe.

  • Friday, July 21, 1967

    Missed an entry? Wondering what this is all about? Start at the beginning and follow along as the 5th Whitby Venturer Scouts canoe to Montreal.

    The following passages were reproduced from the scrapbooks of Gerry Hicks. They have been transcribed without correction. 

    This morning we allowed the boys to sleep in as late as they wanted.

    Most of us got up around 12:00 NOON. We didn’t eat as much as nobody was really hungry but those who were settled for bacon and eggs in the restaurant.

    The leaders held a conference in the restaurant while enjoying breakfast and decided to put out for Hawkesbury, Ontario. There is a scout camp located here just on the right hand side before you cross the bridge linking Ontario with Quebec. We choose this sight as a camp because it featured all the facilities plus the fact it was about ½ mile from the business section of town.

    So, we were off with the weather still clear and not, although not quite so humid. Around 4 miles from Montebello we saw a passenger ferry crossing the river to FOSSETT, Quebec.

    There seems to be a lot of lumbering mills in this area and also another tug was observed hauling another huge boom. We stopped at Pointe-Au-Chene for our lunch. Pausing quickly, we struck out again observing smoke rising in the sky in the distance presumed it was Hawkesbury.

    Around 1 P.M. we pulled up to a little beach where people were swimming. As there were a number of girls around, the boys stopped to visit for a while.

    After a while and a bit of coaxing we got the boys to finally depart and  wasn’t long before a large pulp mill was passed by and there in front of us, appearing about 1 mile away was our destination. The water around the bridge was swift and it kept us busy steering our canoes past the buoys and pillars of the bridge. There was John waving and shouting to us.

    Aerial view of Hawkesbury, Ontario.

    Many, many people were here. There was a group of Quebec Catholic Scouts camping here for a week-end and at the other end of their camp were the 100 men, 55 canoes expedition from Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec. They were heading for Expo as well. During the course of the evening we met lots of people. It was quite a sight to see all these canoes heading for shore. Just a mass of white. As they neared the shore, French music was played for them. They have a group who go ahead and prepare camp-site, check on facilities etc. The men carry in their canoes spare paddles, each man has a packsack, dishes, and each canoe carries a large pup tent for the 2 occupants of the canoe. The rest of the land party sleep in cabin trailers.

    Their food was hauled in a large tractor trailer and each stop-over, fresh milk, eggs, butter was provided by the town in which they stayed. This trip was 2 years in the planning.

    Image of brochure for the paddlers from Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec.

    These men were all either miners or trappers. The oldest man paddling was in his late 50’s and the youngest was 18 years. Their total trip is 650 miles. They left Rouyn the first of July and are taking one month to do it. They just paddle 20 miles minimum each day. The biggest man is 245 lbs. and the smallest tops the scales at 140-145 lbs. These are very tough men, but they are very, very friendly. They gave us a nice welcome on our landing and they told us they didn’t think young boys like we had in our expedition could make a trip like that. While our supper is being prepared, the men from the north are all around our camp; some are looking at our tents and gear, others are checking over our paddles, still others are picking up our canoes. One man picked up 1 of our canoes with 1 hand, right over his shoulder.

    They were really fascinated by Benny’s racing kayak or canoe. It is shaped very close to a kayak with the 2 paddlers sitting in the middle part and paddling on the one side only. This is very hard on the arms until you get used to it. This canoe was especially designed for racing in the Cross Canada Qualifications. It isn’t that heavy neither and also it rides lower to the water than do the rest of our canoes. In comparison to the canoes from the north, ours are babies. Their canoes were specially made and stand a little over a foot higher than ours. They are 42 inches across therefore making them virtually impossible to tip over although it could be tipped. You can stand right up in these canoes and they still are hard to tip. Their trip was sponsored partially by Molson’s Breweries, partially by the Hotels from Rouyn itself, and partially financed by the men themselves.

    Their trip cost $100,000 due to their special equipment (canoes, paddles of which there were 3 different types for each man so that each canoe had 6 paddles) plus total T.V. coverage, whatever they wanted to eat and the advertising, cost to look after a lot of the families who went with them also. They even sported special boots, shirts, T-shirts and pants. Everyone had the same gear. They also had their own doctors, messengers and radio station going with them. The only thing they have to pay for themselves is their own spending money.

    At night-time we featured a huge campfire with the Scouts, Venturers, Rovers and the Rouyn Expedition. We held a tug-of-war, and various other fun and skill games. Everyone had a real ball. Lynch took many movies and we all certainly hope they turn out. To-night it is a real beautiful evening, not cold but not too warm either, just right for sleeping under the stars which some of us did.

    Believed to be a photo of the Rouyn-Noranda expedition.

    The northerners came over and told us that they are getting up and also calling us as well at 4:00 A.M. So everyone pretty well hits the sack.

    Images: Aerial view of Hawkesbury, Ontario. The red dot represents our camp-site on the edge of the Ottawa River. TO the left of the dot can be seen the long bridge linking Ontario and Quebec; The pamphlet was distributed to everyone describing their [the Rouyn-Noranda expedition] whole trip in detail from the start to the finish in Montreal. It was published in French only; This photo is believed to be the paddlers of the Rouyn-Noranda expeiditon. 

    Crossed paddles with banner that reads follow the canoe.

  • Thursday, July 20, 1967

    Missed an entry? Wondering what this is all about? Start at the beginning and follow along as the 5th Whitby Venturer Scouts canoe to Montreal.

    The following passages were reproduced from the scrapbooks of Gerry Hicks. They have been transcribed without correction. 

    Up at 7:00 A.M. After we all took a shower, we decided to head out without breakfast and stop later on in the morning on the Quebec side for breakfast.

    When we left the fog was very thick and the water very still. Our seeing distance was about only 20 ft. in front. We headed across the Ottawa and hugged the banks on the Quebec side. The paddling was easier here as the water was flowing better.

    Directly in front of the New Edinburgh Canoe Club is a long, rather narrow island about half-way across the Ottawa. After pulling past this island, we were in contact with the Quebec shores.

    About 5 miles downriver at a placed called Templeton, Quebec we noticed John, so headed into shore. It was here we decided to eat breakfast. We were assisted by a French-Canadian family, Mr. and Mrs. Gerry Mongeon, who helped us prepare our quick breakfast of bread and jam, porridge and tea. They allowed us to use their washroom facilities and wash water as the Ottawa is very polluted this year. There is a fair amount of oil and scum covering the surface for quite a large portion of the river.

    Photo of the Scouts leaving pushing off waiving to the French Canadian family.

    After breakfast, this French-Canadian family presented our group with a sum of money with which to buy treats for the entire group. They also wanted pictures of us and their young daughter wanted our autographs so we obliged.

    Gerry Lynch took a few pictures of this family before our departure again. I must say that the French-Canadians are very hospitable.

    It is now getting to be a very warm morning. The fog has lifted and we are travelling along at a good steady clip.

    On our left side, we see a range of mountains and are just passing another log boom. There are many pulp and paper mills along this rover. On our right side of course is good old Ontario.

    These log booms are pulled by a single tugboat and the logs are dragged as far as ½ mile behind. The men on board the tug wave and sound the whistle to us.

    Our destination for today is Masson Ferry, but with the speed we are doing so far this morning we may change our plans.

    The scenery on the left side which is Quebec is beautiful. The Appalachian Mountain Range is a pretty blue in the distance.

    Portion of the Quebec flag.

    We pulled in an outlet in the water around noon for lunch just outside of Masson, Quebec. There were some cottages here and the occupants appeared rather poor but healthy. They brought us all Kool-Aid but we all paid for a glass of it. They spoke French and just barely understood English. We then decided to push on as everyone felt like paddling.

    The river begins to get very, very wide around this area and it seems like we are in the water only minutes when the high church steeple of Masson, Quebec was observed.

    The water still is quite calm and the temperature is around 90 degrees. Looking at the water with the sun beating down upon it makes your eyes sore.

    Everyone but myself are blacker than coal but I am as red as a lobster. They all have beautiful tans. Everyone seems to be acclimatized to the weather now. None of us are in a hurry anymore as we know that we will make it, right according to schedule.

    We are heading for Montebello, Quebec today. We are approximately 36-38 miles from Ottawa now. We break up into 3 groups with sufficient leaders for each group and 1 group decides to stop for a rest while another decides to have some horse play in the water and the third group decides to paddle like hell and arrive in Montebello before everyone else.

    We paused at a cottage along the river and some kind ladies brought ice cold water to our aid. It was here that Bill LaValley mastered the art of gunnel balancing. It took quite a few flips in the water but finally he succeeded.

    We were informed that 50 white canoes had passed here earlier today and apparently it was quite an impressive sight to see.

    We have heard quite a bit about them and by the speed we are going we should overtake them soon as they only do 20-25 miles per day regardless of the weather whereas we achieve no less than 30 miles per day on the average.

    After our short rest and refreshing swim and water bottles were filled once again, we were off.

    We took off amid the waves of the ladies and children. The time element seems to drag slowly by although the water seems quite fast. We have been paddling a long time as for myself and the other leaders we are starting to feel the effects of the trip just a little.

    We have just approached another tug boat towing a long boom and they inform us we are about 7 miles outside of Montebello, Quebec,

    If we were only 7 miles approx. from Montebello, it sure proved to be the longest remaining 7 miles we ever paddled. We hit the docks at Montebello at 6 P.M. with the last canoes arriving just before 6:30 P.M.

    Supper was all ready to eat.

    Approximately 1 mile on the Ottawa River from Montebello is a beautiful resort for high class people it appears. We were told that 1 or 2 days prior to our arrival here, Princess Grace of Monaco stayed here as do other visiting V.I.Ps.

    The Ottawa River is really quite wide here and looks somewhat like a small lake.

    The Mayor of Montebello came down after supper. He is the Honorable J.N. Dauost. John Brady earlier on in the afternoon, upon his arrival, got in touch with the Mayor and presented him with our Mayor’s letter. He arranged to have our camp checked by policemen regularly during the evening as there had been a little bit of trouble with vandals before. The mayor here presented us with a letter for our mayor.

    The Mayor informed us that both the Prince Ranier and Princess Grace were still presently staying in the resort as she wasn’t feeling well.

    Montebello is a friendly little town of 1500 population. The many shrines here are beautiful as well as the church.

    We accomplished 50 miles today which has been our longest paddle. The paper clipping stated 47 miles but as our camp was moved 3 miles further than we expected it made a total of 50 miles.

    We had of course no trouble falling to sleep tonight. Everyone was beat.

     

    Images: Leaving after breakfast on the Ottawa River. Waving goodbye to the French Canadian family who hosted us; Portion of Quebec flag found on July 20 at Montebello, Quebec.

    Crossed paddles with a banner that reads follow the canoe.

  • Wednesday, July 19, 1967

    Missed an entry? Wondering what this is all about? Start at the beginning and follow along as the 5th Whitby Venturer Scouts canoe to Montreal.

    The following passages were reproduced from the scrapbooks of Gerry Hicks. They have been transcribed without correction. 

    Rose at 6:30 A.M. to head to Ottawa. After a hearty breakfast of porridge with canned milk and tea, we are off once again. It is another of those lovely and hot July mornings. We had made advance arrangements to meet our wagon and equipment in Lansdowne Park along the canal just outside Ottawa. We have only 16 more miles to go to Ottawa. We agreed to meet John Brady at 10:00.

     The water is still and quite warm. Along this part of the canal, the banks are quite high and steep. To our immediate right a man and his boy and dog are running along the banks, waving to us.

    A lot of the cottages here have their own swimming pools.

    We have just passed the Ottawa Sea Scout Den on our left. We had the opportunity to stay here the previous nite but we decided not to. The lock was not on the door, so they must have left it open for us.

    The boys are starting to get wound up as we can see the outskirts of the city in the distance. Now, they are paddling like mad as they have been informed that when they arrive in the Capital, the rest of the day is theirs to do what they want to do.

    They all get along real well together now. Prior to the trip they were not as close to each other as they are now. They are all deeply concerned about one another all the time (more interested in their fellow Venturers) which is terrific.

    Photograph of the Rideau Canal in Ottawa.

    We have now pulled up to the lock and we are informed by the lockmaster that we are just a stone’s throw from our objective. As we round the bend, we see the tall buildings ahead. Civilization is upon us once more. The canal is getting narrower, all built on the sides with cement. People are strolling along the canal, stopping to talk to us.

    We are all bunched together like sardines in a tin as it is a race to see who arrives first. We are now coming under a high bridge which is under construction. The men looked bewildered as they see us coming, all 10 canoes strong. They stop work to ask us various questions such as: Why do we wear buckskin clothing? Where is Whitby? and many more.

    They say they find it hard to believe we have paddled over 350 miles in these canoes.

    We now see very clearly Lansdowne Park. It is a fairly large park on our left. The city traffic is really moving on both sides of the canal and it is here we decide to stop and wait for John as he is nowhere in sight.

    The Ottawa Queen sightseeing boat passes us and the waves are really rocking our canoes which are smashing against the sides of the canal. The captain blows his whistle and the crowd on board are waving.

    It is precisely 10:00 A.M. and still no Brady. So everyone decides to get another 40 winks or so until he arrives. One of the boys, Steve Baxter, is sick and is observed hanging over the rail.

    Around 12:00 NOON, John and Hank are observed paddling down the Rideau towards us in the spare blue canoe using the spare heavy-as-hell beaver tail paddles.

    Again everyone is happy to see their comrades once again.

    John explained that he was late due to his making the arrangements to park our canoes in the back of the Centennial Bldg. in Ottawa which is right beside the canal. On the opposite side of the canal across from the Centennial Bldg. is located the new Centre of the Arts Bldg. It is still under construction.

    We are roughly ½ hr. paddle from the Centennial Bldg. so everybody is noisy and receiving much attention from bystanders. We are now rapping our paddles against the gunnels of the canoes. John advises us to pull our canoes out of the water about 1/8 of a mile from the Centennial Building as the closer we get to it, the sides of the canal are higher and much harder to scale.  So we climb out of the canoes and portage the short remaining distance.

    Photo of the Scouts on the lawn beside the Rideau Canal in Ottawa.

    The area now is loaded with tourists. Buses are arriving and departing all the time. People are emerging everywhere. An official limousine escorted by the R.C.M.P. motorcycle detachment has just gone by. The occupants waved to us. They appeared to be from India as they sported turbans.

    We have now arrived and lined our canoes in a big horse-shoe formation on the lawn. The paddles were all locked up inside the building for us and our craft were guarded by an official working in the Centennial Bldg.

    After roll call is taken, we all wash up and everyone goes his own way. Pretty well everyone stuck together in groups of 4 or 5.

    Girls were everywhere in this city. Rideau Street is a large business street. It is on this street that the Centennial Bldg. is located and almost directly across the street north from this building is the famous Chateau Laurier Hotel; one of Ottawa’s finest. I took in a tour of the business section, the Imperial War Museum, a look at the Royal Canadian Mint from the outside only, tour of the Parliament Bldgs. and the Eternal Flame made to commemorate Canada’s Centennial.

    The mounted policemen look magnificent in their scarlet uniforms.

    These buildings are teeming with people. The floral gardens in and around the Parliament Bldgs. Are beautiful and very well kept as is the rest of the city.

    We had a tour of the Mounted Police Barracks (Rockcliffe). People are stopping us and asking all kinds of questions.

    We are centrally located and within walking distance from any of the important sights. We all agreed to meet back at the Centennial Bldg. at 6:00 P.M. to depart for our evening’s camp which allowed us over 5 hrs. to tour around.

    Gerry Lynch, myself and Benny departed for a restaurant for a rather late lunch, then we decide to go and visit Mike Starr [Member of Parliament for Ontario electoral district]. After very little trouble, we are escorted by an old friend of Ben’s past hundreds of people waiting in line to Mr. Starr’s office and shown in. It is in room 253 South. His secretary advised us that he had left the day before and was back home in Oshawa. So after 15 minutes of talking and looking around his fairly large office, we departed. Our buckskin outfits drew lots of attention.

    Post card showing Canada's Parliament Buildings.

    Lynch and Benny were later interviewed in the Chateau Laurier by a T.V. Station. Also they went to the Ottawa Journal. This is one of the large newspapers here in Ottawa.

    After this I joined them and we left heading to the “Mall”, a large enclosed shopping centre, and arrived in time to see our boys walking through a gang of beatniks. Time was a flying and according to the sun it was getting quite late in the afternoon so we decided to head back to the canoes to wait for the crew.

    Sharp at 6:00 P.M. a T.V. Crew arrived to see and film our departure. We were given instructions on what to do and all the boys lined up in the canal.

    The camera got aboard a cabin cruiser and headed ahead of us about 20 ft. We then were told to race towards him in our canoes.

    The whole deal lasted 10 minutes. The cruiser with the camera man docked on the wrong side of the canal and John Brady paddled over to the other side of bring him back across. He was a huge man, very fat and was scared of the canoe as was John with him in it plus all the camera equipment.

    After our passenger was delivered, we headed out again under the bridge and towards the 8 locks which we had to portage. The 8 locks were in steps. At these locks we descend 1.90 ft. at a distance of 81 ft. of canal. This is quite a drop. To lock here, I think it would take a couple of hours but by portaging we do it in 10 minutes.

    We launched our canoes amongst many large cruisers waiting for the locks to open. We met some people from Toronto in one of the cruisers who said they knew people in Whitby, one being Mr. M. Goreski of Mel Ron Construction.

    As we entered the canal again the water started to gain momentum and as it emptied into the Ottawa River we were making real good time. We took one corner very fast and narrowly missed a pillar of a large bridge that spans the Ottawa. Behind us are rapids that also added to the force of the water.

    We are now paddling 75 strokes per minute. On our right side we pass a waterfall. On our left side is the province of Quebec with the large factories in Hull, Quebec belching out smoke that can be seen very clearly. The Ottawa River is quite wide and fairly fast. The banks again are high.

    As we are further down river approx.. 9 ½ - 10 miles, we observe on our right side John Brady is waving to us to come in from a dock which turns out to be a building which belongs to the New Edinburgh Canoe Club of Ottawa. We were received very well here.

    This is a mixed club. The president of the club greeted us and really made us welcome. We all signed the guest book and he then explained to us the history of the club which is over 1 century old. They have a room full of prize trophies here and world titles which they have won. Their canoes are lovely. They have canoes of all size, styles and colours.

    We enjoyed swimming, T.V., ping pong and the snack bar. Before the close of the evening, we had purchased everything from the snack bar.

    We were asked to spend the evening so we cordially accepted.

    We slept on the huge floor of their clubhouse which incidentally is a 4 story deal attached to the mainland by a small bridge.

    Some of the boys stayed up to watch to fights on the T.V. here. George Chuvalo lost.

    Images: Along Rideau Canal about 1/2 mile from Ottawa; Arrival in Ottawa. In the background are the Parliament Buildings; the Canadian Houses of Parliament.

    Crossed paddles with banner that reads follow the canoe.

  • Tuesday, July 18, 1967

    Missed an entry? Wondering what this is all about? Start at the beginning and follow along as the 5th Whitby Venturer Scouts canoe to Montreal.

    The following passages were reproduced from the scrapbooks of Gerry Hicks. They have been transcribed without correction. 

    It is now 2 days before my birthday and I think it is a very good way not only to spend my 2 weeks’ vacation but also to spend my birthday. We got up at 7:00 A.M. & after breakfast the boys got together and tried to bury Benny in a pit used earlier to initiate the Sea Scouts. As usual, John Brady was the instigator. After our brief bit of fun we all gathered together to plan our day’s move. We decided that in order to arrive in Ottawa early in the day we would have to split the remaining 30 miles in two. We decided to canoe to Long Island Locks which is 8 miles east of Ottawa.

    At 8:30 A.M. we left Kemptville, Ont., and started paddling down the Rideau once more. The boys are really taking it easy now and are clowning around, from side to side of the canal, always singing songs & rapping their paddles on the canoes & making a lot of noise.

    Canoe gliding through the Rideau Canal.

    The Rideau is changing fast now and you can tell that we are getting closer to Ottawa. The cottages along the scenic Rideau in this immediate area are beautiful. They are more like large mansion than everyday cottages. They are the nicest ones we have seen so far on the trip.

    It is still very hot & every now and then the boys stop and have a quick swim. We paused in Mannotick for a while & looked over a large war canoe which was manned by a group of Venturers from Montreal who were heading back to Montreal.

    We stopped and talked to the lockmaster regarding registration for our canoes. I had to go to the doctor’s here in Mannotick as I suffered from second degree burns. Here the doctor treated me and I had to observe his strict rules of being completely covered for 3 days. What a hell of a thing to get used to after not wearing any shirt & just a pair of shorts, especially when it is 90 degrees. I was wrapped up like a mummy in gauze bandages as I had huge blisters on my arms & legs.

    We arrived at our campsite at 4:30 P.M. The last canoe arrived at 6:30 P.M. Benny had made arrangements with the lockmaster to camp at the locks with all the modern facilities. The locks along this whole system are beautifully kept and all have the most modern facilities. A lot of the locks are equipped with pay telephones & some even have a small snack bar. We now have left the Rideau Canal behind us, all the way to Kingston. And we have portaged a total of 49 locks.

    Supper was served at 7:00 P.M. by myself and Gerald Lynch. To-night it was our turn to act as chief cooks and bottle washers. We served hamburg patties in tomato sauce, peas and rice, onion, cooked cabbage & tea.

    Our evening after supper was a quiet one. The scenery was very beautiful here. There were also a number of other people camping here. All there is to do to-night is take a short walk and think about home and Expo 67; then I revert my thinking and think of the crew & I then feel proud, not only proud to be a participant in the trip but to be a leader. Everyone is happy go lucky. Thank goodness now we are not hindered by the crappy Group Committee.

    We think of the people who have done so much to help us; people like Mayor Newman whom we are all very proud of, and Mr. Vernon McCarl [MacCarl] who is a councillor in our large town and Mrs. Carter who is also from Whitby and is a devoted member of the Whitby Centennial Committee, Mrs. LaHaye, Ivan Kellestine, the fathers of the boys, our chaplain and many more people too numerous to mention. These people are always mentioned by the boys and very well spoken of by them and the leaders.

    Images: Gliding through the Rideau Canal.

    Crossed paddles with banner that reads follow the canoe.

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